Motoring to Motovun

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 1, 2010

Ho hum… just another day with two absolutely wonderful activities. In the morning we drove to Skosjanske Caves, a UNESCO certified world heritage site. It is a system of underground caves and caverns carved by a river on its way to the Adriatic. The cave system actually has many kilometers of caves, but the guided tour took us about 3 kms into the system. It is kept relatively natural, and not tarted up for tourists, though obviously it has been lit throughout, and there are rocks and concrete trails along the route It did cost 8 Euro each, but we are not complaining, as the guide was thorough and knowledgeable. He walked us and about 20 others (it was an English speaking group, but only 5 or 6 of us were actually Anglophone… the others were German and Belgian, but they took this group rather than the Italian speaking group.

There were 4 or 5 huge caverns to see, one of which was over 100 metres from top to bottom… you could fit Soames Hill into it! There were the usual stalactites and stalagmites to see as well as Bat colonies. A fascinating morning.

After lunch we set off south toward Croatia and crossed the border at Buzet, a very rural crossing site… no problem at all, easier than crossing into the US. So now we are out of the EU "Schengen" zone, so we are not bound by any timelines. As some of you may know, we did discover that we could only stay in the “Schengen” area, which is most of the EU, for 3 months, so we have been feeling some pressure to move south and get out of Schengen before September 6.

Our first stop is the beautiful hill town of Motovun. We parked halfway up its 450 metre hillside where we paid $10 equivalent for an overnight stay in their parking lot, and including both of us on the shuttlebus up. Motovun has existed for thousands of years, but most of the walls date from the 14th C, and the structures inside date from 16th and 17th Cs.

One interesting sidelight was that as we sauntered around the square, we began to notice some funny business to do with men setting up little stalls and structures, and other men digging up and removing some fence posts. There were also unstaffed fruit and veggie stands around the square. Pat was admiring how brightly coloured some of the fruit was, and we were wondering why there were no sellers there. Pretty soon we clued in that the modifications were being made for some filming which was going to begin later, and some of the people bustling about were production people with clipboards and walkie talkies. At one point I returned to the brightly coloures fruit and taped on an apple… click, click… it was plastic!

Of course as we wandered about, and had a pizza (with truffles!), we saw more action, and eventually they rehearsed a little scene with 8 or 9 cars driving through town, then backing up and doing it again 3 or 4 times. We decided to have an ice cream cone while we watched, and we couldn't find the waitress, so Pat asked a man who came by, thinking he was the restaurant owner. Turned out that he was the Producer! He told us, in his British accent, that it was actually a commercial, probably for the cute little Citoen convertible amongst the cars.

The weather was beautiful, and so the light as dusk came on was magical.

Just another ordinary day in BillnPat’s Great Adventure!
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Doreen on

What a perfect little European town. No wonder I love going over there so much.

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